The police officer who found the bodies of two Tampa Palms teenagers testified in the Julie Schenecker murder trial Monday, describing in great detail what he saw when he entered the family's home.
The 53-year-old Tampa Palms mother is accused of murdering her 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter in January 2011. The killings happened while her husband was deployed overseas.
Officer Gregory Noble found the bodies of Beau and Calyx Schenecker. Noble testified that he found Beau in the passenger seat of Schenecker's car while it was parked in their garage. He had a gunshot wound to the head and face.
He said his body was covered with a blanket.
He then found the body of Calyx upstairs. She, too, had two gunshot wounds to the head. She was also covered with a blanket.
In this case, perhaps more crucial is his testimony about Schenecker's state of mind at the time of the killings.
Her defense team believes she should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. The prosecution is not pursuing the death penalty, but in opening statements, they said they can prove she knew what she was doing when she allegedly killed her children.
Prosecutors on Monday said Schenecker planned a massacre and would have killed them sooner if she didn't have to wait three days to purchase a gun from an Oldsmar store.
The prosecutor read from Schenecker’s journals, which laid out more details about the killings.
Here is what he said:
“ ‘I offed Beau on the way to practice. He saw the gun and told me to put it back in the purse. He had a healthy fright, then when we got home, a shot to his mouth, [because] he became so mouthy, just like Calyx.’ Her son is dead in the car. She gets out of her minivan and basically walks into their house where her daughter Calyx is working on the computer. She walks up close behind her and Calyx says ‘what are you doing?’ And the defendant's response was just seeing what you're doing, she raises her gun up and BAM -- shoots her in the back of her head. And Calyx Schenecker's body falls to the left in the chair. The defendant then shoots her in the mouth. The ‘sassy mouth’ as the defendant called it. And then the two children are dead, at the hands of their own mother.""She not only planned to kill them, she murdered them," state prosecutors said.
"She was very calm, she picked out a gun, and she even shook hands with the clerk," they continued.
In its opening statements, the defense painted a different picture. They painted the picture of an "All-American family" that had a sick member, detailing the decline of Schenecker's mental health. The defense said she loved her children but snapped in her illness.
They said that Schenecker was molested as a child. They said that Schenecker intended to commit suicide that day but was heavily sedated on medication.
Jurors were shown pictures of the crime scene. FOX 13's Gloria Gomez tweeted that many covered their mouths with their hands when they saw the horrific pictures.
Media from all over the country are here for the trial, which you can watch live on MyFoxTampaBay.com.
It's expected to last about three weeks.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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